Review: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

Book Title: Complicit
Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Release Date: June 24th, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: YA Thriller
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Two years ago, fifteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.

But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.

Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know this one simple truth: she’s not the crazy one and never has been.

He is.

Disclaimer: I received this e-galley from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
By the time you read this I will have read and reviewed the first Stephanie Kuehn book Charm & Strange. I just knew the moment I read the blurb of this one, that I had to have it.The blurb sent chills up my spine. So when NetGalley approved me, I was super excited about it and I dove right in.I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but what I got was 256 pages of pure awesome mind-fuckery.

Jamie has been dealt a rough hand. As a child he lived with his mother and big sister Cate. Until the day that his mother was shot and killed right in front of him & Cate. After that, they went into foster care until rich people Angie and Malcolm Henry adopted them. It’s very hard for school-age kids to be adopted but this was a special case. Angie and Malcolm had recently lost their two children in a traffic accident.

At first Cate seems like she’s the well adjusted one. But Jamie starts to hear stories. Stories about how his sister is making other kids do stuff.Stuff that they don’t want to do. Of course Jamie is loyal to his sister, but then an incident changes that. An incident that shows that all those kids saying those strange things may not be so far off.

Then the fire happens and Cate is eventually charged with the crime. Finally, Jamie can breathe easier. “Crazy Cate” is in a juvenile detention center where she can’t get to him. But nothing is the same anymore. He’s an outcast, even his former best friend Scooter won’t talk to him. After all it was Scooter’s girlfriend who was horrifically burned in the fire that Cate set which also killed horses.

And then he meets Jenny. Sweet Jenny, kind Jenny. Jenny doesn’t know about Cate because her family just moved here. So to her, Jamie is just a normal guy. When she finds out about Cate from the other kids at school, she doesn’t shy away from Jamie.

Now Jamie is getting calls from his sister. He hasn’t spoken to her in two years and now she’s out and constantly hassling him over the phone.Jamie doesn’t want to ruin what he’s got going with Jenny but he’s also trying to recover certain memories. Memories that only Cate would be able to relate to.

It isn’t until he comes face to face with Cate for the first time in 2 years, that he starts realizing things. Memories that had been long repressed creep back into the forefront of his brain. Suddenly, everything he thought was true is being called into question.

Malcolm & Angie played pretty minor parts. Angie was in it more than Malcolm was. They were okay people. Angie was a good mom to the kids and when Malcolm was around he was good to both Cate &
Jamie. They definitely grieved for their birth children, Madison & Graham. Even going as far as encouraging Cate & Jamie into doing the kinds of things that Madison and Graham enjoyed. Such as horseback riding & playing the piano.

I think they tried to protect Jamie in the end. They had already lost their biological children and their adopted daughter was lost to her troubles. So they focused on keeping Jamie safe and happy. Even going as far as to baby him a bit. Especially when it came to the nerve damage to his hands.His hands had started giving him problems the night of the fire. Now whenever he was stressed out, the issues flared up again.

I just cannot believe what a ride this was. And the mind-fuckery? Totally crazy and this book messed with my mind in the best possible way. Oh man this book was fantastic.It was a total page turner because you never quite knew what was going to happen next and it was oftentimes, totally unexpected.

Thrillers are harder to review because there’s often no true feels in the books. There’s craziness and mind-blowing and all sorts of other things, but no true feels. With that said, this book will be getting the full 5 stars. It was totally awesome and Stephanie Kuehn has become another one of those auto-buy authors. Which means, I’ll buy anything this woman writes. I definitely plan on ordering a finished copy of this book.

Mood Reading

This post was inspired by Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner. She recently wrote a post on mood reading. This got me thinking as I am also a mood reader. I am also big on schedules so it’s difficult to figure out which one will win out and it’s always a different mindset that wins out every week. I love schedules and when it comes to book reviews I try to follow them but I refuse to force myself to read a book that I am not in the mood for.

I recently finished Dear Killer which is a YA Mystery and while I did enjoy it, I had to be in the right mood for it. If I had read it a month ago, it wouldn’t have worked because I was in a YA Contemporary phase and reading Dear Killer at that time would have ruined the book for me because I was not in the mood for a YA Mystery.

The idea of throwing out my color-coded review schedule makes me super panicky and scares the crap outta me. I thrive on schedules and if I were to just throw out the schedules and just listen to my mood completely, I think my compulsive need to meet deadlines would screw with my head completely and possibly ruin my love for reading at least temporarily. However, I know myself well enough to know that if I read a book that I am just not in the mood for, my review & the attached rating will suffer.

So I am just going to embrace my mood reading and be okay with the idea that I might not meet every single deadline that publishers want me to make and that’s okay. I would rather write a fair review and rate it correctly and have the review come in a little after the release date than write an unfair review with an incorrect rating and have it posted prior to the release date.

So are you a mood reader or are you more of a schedule reader?

If We Were Having Coffee #1

So I got this idea from Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner who got it from a blogger/life coach named Ashley.Sometimes we forget that there is a whole other side to book bloggers. A side that does not obsess about books and talk about them incessantly. So grab a cup of coffee (generally my coffee of choice is a Venti Mocha at Starbucks) and let’s chat.

If we were having coffe, I’d talk about how much I have hated 2014 so far. It definitely has not been kind to my family.My mom got fired from work in the beginning of January. Totally unjustified because she has been off work on Workman’s Comp since September of 2013. Thank goodness we have a lawyer who will not let this go. Workman’s Comp has been a nightmare to deal with and she’s frustrated and sometimes wondering how the bills are going to be paid. I give her money (we are literally best friends) but I practically have to force it into her hand.
At the end of January my 13 year old brother got a concussion.It was considered minor but the temporary mood changes were exasperating. Plus he dealt with headaches all the time. Then, this past weekend he was at his dad’s house and somehow managed to break 2 fingers in his right hand. What hand does he use to write, you ask? Of course his right hand.
My grandmother, who is normally extremely healthy, is now having some health issues. Scary for us because she is normally the healthiest one in our family. I would ask you to please keep her and the rest of my family in your thoughts & prayers.
If we were having coffee, I’d admit to feeling down lately. Not depressed, but just bummed about where I am in life. Ten years ago I had all of these plans and none of them have gone the way I wanted them to. I would admit to feeling like a loser because math is an exceptionally difficult subject for me. All of my other classes, I do very well even excellent. But not math. Math is just not my forte. I’d ask you what your best subjects in school is/was.I’d also admit to being a loser because I just cannot make a relationship work. I desperately want to, but I lack the skills and the inspiration to do so.
No one in my family has really shown me what it’s like to be happily married and committed for life. Mom has been married & divorced twice. Both of them assholes. Both of them verbally & emotionally abusive. My grandmother is on her 3rd marriage. First husband was abusive.Second husband died.And now she is on her third husband. My mom’s brother has never been married.Ideally marriage is supposed to be forever, but the 49-50% divorce rate would show me that marriages fail.Since I am a child (and adult) of divorce I am essentially screwed. Logically, I know that I am not my family and that I can take the steps necessary to put everything I have into a marriage.
I’d tell you that friendships are changing and I am realizing more and more who to trust. Who is going to be there for me when I need them to be and who only comes around when they need something.It hurts, thinking someone was a close friend, basically a best friend but we have drifted apart a lot in the past couple of years.
I’d tell you how much I panicked when I got a Facebook friend request from one of the boys who bullied me in high school. I mean, there were 4 sometimes 5 of them that made my Sophomore & Junior years absolute hell. Nothing was really done about them for awhile as it was a small private school and the parents of these boys had buckets of money. I have blocked out most of what they did to me in high school but some memories will always remain. 
I’d tell you that this felt really good and that we should keep doing it. At least once a month.
So what did you guys think? Comment below and say what you’d say to me if we were having coffee. If you want to keep it anonymous, you are welcome to do that as well.